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ON-FARM RESEARCH GRANT PROGRAM
Southern SARE has long supported farmers in their efforts to conduct new and innovative sustainable agriculture production practices. In 2002, On-Farm Research Grants came on the scene to provide opportunities for those working directly with farmers and ranchers on sustainable agriculture efforts.
Similar in scope and focus to the Producer Grants, On-Farm Research Grants are one of SSARE’s “small” grants programs, offering $15,000 for up to a 2-year project for Extension agents, university researchers, NGOs, and government personnel (like NRCS or USDA-ARS) who currently work with farmers and conduct on-farm research with at least one farmer/rancher cooperator. Emphasizing relationship-building between researcher and farmer, this grant has no preproposal requirements, nor are applicants asked to demonstrate specific outcomes in an intensive way. Proposals are easy to write and straightforward to manage, with simple reporting requirements.
An applicant may only submit ONE proposal to the SSARE On-Farm Research Grant Program in one grant cycle. In this case, "applicant" refers to a person. There is no limit on the number of applications that come from the university.
Deadline: Dec. 6, 2019
Areas of Interest
The focus areas have been chosen by the On-farm Research Grant Committee as areas needing investigation. These focus areas elaborate topics for applicants who are in need of information on research areas of interest to the SARE On-Farm Research Grant program.
BENEFICAL INSECT HABITAT – Developing cover crops or other plant mixes and locations that provide habitat (refuges) that keep populations of native beneficial insects living on the farm ready to attack crop pests as they occur.
ALTERNATIVE CROPS/ANIMALS – Developing alternative crops, animals or products that help a producer’s operation become more economically sustainable. These projects must be at least as environmentally sustainable as the existing crops, animals and products they supplement or replace.
ORGANIC AGRICULTURE – Projects that address the production, distribution, marketing and consumption of organic farm products. This includes farmers adding value to organic products. Research into farming systems and practices that make use of on-farm biological cycles for soil, plant and pest management.
SUSTAINABLE MARKETING PROJECTS – Developing markets for existing or alternative crops, animals or products.
SUSTAINABLE GRAZING SYSTEMS – Use of native grass species and or plant/animal management systems to make grazing systems more sustainable.
SOIL ORGANIC MATTER BUILDING/PROTECTION/MANAGEMENT – Projects that increase the sustainability of farming systems by developing soil organic matter and soil biota.
INCREASING SUSTAINABILITY OF EXISTING FARMING PRACTICES – Any practice or system that increases the sustainability of an existing farming practice. The results should be able to be used by other farmers.
APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY – Projects that develop a device or piece of machinery that promotes sustainable agriculture and can’t be purchased off the shelf. The device or machinery must have application for farmers/ranchers, be able to be built by them and enable them to operate more sustainably.
AGROFORESTRY– Studies are needed that demonstrate and quantify the feasibility of establishing agroforestry in the region. Information on the performance of various forage combinations under shaded conditions is needed
On-Farm Research Grant Projects must be developed, coordinated and led by Extension, NRCS, governmental or non-governmental organization (NGO) or University personnel who regularly work with farmers/ranchers AND who will conduct the on-farm research with at least one farmer/rancher cooperator. Applicants must complete a proposal describing their project and explaining how it will help producers understand and adopt sustainable agriculture practices.
Projects may be funded up to TWO years for a project maximum of $15,000.